April 27, 2007
Bar/None Records Birthday Bash Brings Freedy Johnston Recreating Can You Fly? to the MASS MoCA Stage
Brian Dewan and Vampire Weekend perform too
(North Adams, Mass.) MASS MoCA will kick off its summer season with a night of bands from the Bar/None record label headlined by Freedy Johnston in a special recreation of his seminal 1992 album, Can You Fly? The celebration of the 20th birthday of the storied Hoboken independent music label also features Brian Dewan and Vampire Weekend. MASS MoCA has presented many other Bar None bands over the years, including They Might Be Giants, Yo La Tengo, and Mosquitos. The bands begin this birthday bash at 7 PM on Sunday, May 27.
As part of the summer kickoff, MASS MoCA's galleries will be open until 8 PM with special reduced price admission for concert ticket-holders. Visitors will get a first glimpse at MASS MoCA's landmark summer exhibition, Spencer Finch: What Time Is it on the Sun? which features more than 40 pieces including several new works and two new site-specific installations by this acclaimed artist whose work Art in America described as "always playful, often abstruse, and sometimes patently absurdist."
As one learns in the track Trying To Tell You That I Don't Know, from Can You Fly? , Freedy Johnston sold his family's Kansas farm to finance his music career. According to Rolling Stone, this album "[that combines] poetic autobiographical tales with impossibly catchy melodies established his reputation as a masterful pop tunesmith and won him critical accolades." Since Can You Fly?, he's produced six albums and catapulted himself to Rolling Stone's acknowledgement that "nobody sounds like Freedy Johnston. He's an American original." His first U.S. hit was Bad Reputation which made three Billboard charts: Modern Rock Tracks, Hot 100, and Top 40 Mainstream. Can You Fly? graced the top 10 album list of many major magazines including People, Spin, Musician, and Billboard. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. with artists such as Soul Asylum, Matthew Sweet, the Lemonheads, and They Might Be Giants.
Johnston will be joined by two other Bar/None artists: Brian Dewan and Vampire Weekend. Brian Dewan - musician, artist, and craftsman - has taken his classical training and produced a compendium of original, electrically charged folk tunes and cranky Yankee tales. Having appeared on The Tonight Show and performed with Blue Man Group, Dewan has also created a number of album covers -- including They Might Be Giants's Lincoln and David Byrne's Uh-Oh -- and is the designer and mastermind behind Dewantron, a family of instruments which hazard unpredictable behaviors and self-playing tendencies.
According to Time Out New York, "Vampire Weekend is a young local band that oozes offhanded charm...wry lyrics with eccentric hooks and worldly, easygoing grooves." Flavorpill enthuses, "Vampire Weekend, a quartet of Columbia kids, offers up damn-near perfect pop tunes ...with an endearing sincerity we can only hope survives a rocket to stardom. But don't mistake their earnest 'tudes for na´vetÚ; the boys write beyond their years, with pointed, often sardonic commentary soaring over ebullient keys in sing-a-long verse."
Tickets for Freedy Johnston: Can You Fly? are $17 in advance or $21 the day of the show. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Doors open at 6 PM with snacks from Lickety Split and full bar available. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. Wednesday through Monday (July 1 through September 4, from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily). Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113
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